Monday, June 27, 2011

Repaneled Submission - Tales to Astonish #63

My first submission to the Repaneled Blog was so much fun, I decided to send in another one.

I keep looking at individual comic panels out of context and thinking "Hey, that would be a great for 'Repaneled'..."  There are so many panels that I think it would be fun to recreate, so I'm sure I will be doing several more submissions in the near future.  In fact, I'm quite sure Anthony will soon be tired of me spamming his Inbox.  So, if you haven't already, you should go to his site and submit some panels of your own!  :-)

In this case, my submission is from the origin story of one of the Hulk's main nemeses, the Leader, in "Tales to Astonish" #63, drawn by Steve Ditko.

And here's my version:

For those even vaguely interested, here's step-by-step...  For everyone else, prepare to be bored!

First, I'm still new to digital painting and effects, so most of this is probably unbelievably crude to those of you who do this all the time.  I have an older verision of PhotoShop, but I'm sure almost any photo manipulation program will do, as well--GIMP, etc.  Also, my Wacom tablet is so old I had to use a driver for Vista to get it to run on my Windows 7 machine... so that's still a little funky at the moment, as well.  But, it's good enough for me to play with before I decide if I want to invest in a new tablet or not.  OK, preamble out of the way, here we go...

* * *

STEP ONE:  I began by ruling out the borders (which I included in these steps just to show some of the "warts and all" parts of the process) and did the painting with black and white gouache (an opaque watercolor).  It was done on 140# Arches hot press watercolor paper and the finished painting measures about 3-3/4" x 6".

Originally, I was thinking about shooting a couple reference photos and such, but decided to heck with it and painted it without any references.  I thought I had done enough figure painting over the past few years that I could wing it well enough.  Besides, I was wasting so much time thinking about how I would get the lighting setup for the references, etc. that I figured I would have the painting done by the time it was setup.  And, for the most part, I think I was right in this case.  I'm sure there's a lesson in there for me, somewhere... :-)

Once finished, I scanned the painting into my computer and imported it into PhotoShop.

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STEP TWO:  Once in PhotoShop, I duplicated the layer and set it to "Multiply".  This allows you to colorize the black-and-white picture and still keep most of the blacks and whites from the original.  Here I pretty much just laid down areas of flat color.

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STEP THREE:  Next, I began to add gradations to the colors as well as highlights and shadows...

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STEP FOUR:  The last few highlights and finishing touches are added.  I'm no Ben Templesmith by a long shot, but I get by.  Barely.  :-)

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STEP FIVE:  I took the lettering from the original panel and, using PhotoShop, sliced it up and moved it around to better fit my caption and word balloon.  I then cropped the picture, put an 8 pixel border around it, and called it "Done!".  :-)


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Superman #233 - Cover Replica

  Here is my cover recreation for Superman #233 -- the great "Kryptonite Nevermore!" cover by Neal Adams.  As always, click on the pics below to embiggen!

Here is the original cover:

Just for fun, here's the process.  I took plenty of pictures step-by-step this time around and, once again, my camera seems to have done funky things as far as coloration, etc.  I did some minor color correction, but then again, my monitor isn't color-corrected so I didn't bother over doing it.  :-)

* * *

STEP ONE:  First, once again, I glued a 22" x 30" sheet of  Stonehenge paper to a 20" x 30" hardboard.  I trimmed the extra and used a combination of size (glue) and gesso to prime the board.  I then gridded out the board and started drawing the basic shapes.  I inked some of the outlines so the lines would still show up when I painted over them.  It sort of worked...

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STEP TWO:   Here I started painting in the large shapes in flat colors.

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STEP THREE:   More painting.  I also started doing the linework with black acrylic paint thinned with waterproof black ink.

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STEP FOUR:   Lettering!  I HATE LETTERING!  :-)  I drew the letters and logo and with pencil, painted in the flat colors, and then used a Sharpie Marker to outline the letters/logo with the help of a straightedge.  Of course, as soon as I finished the outline of the logo and it was far too late to change it, I realized it should have been about a 1/2" higher. Sigh...

* * *

STEP FIVE:   Lettering and lines!  Lots and LOTS of use of the Sharpie Marker this time around.  I finished painting the letters, outlined the letters with the Sharpie, and then broke out the 18" ruler and spent several hours drawing out the radiating lines--again, with the Sharpie.

I decided to use Sharpie for lettering and the radiating lines since I just don't trust my my ability to ink lines with a brush and ruler.  I can do it for a limited amount of times before the lines start to drift on me.  And, in this case, if I goofed up the lines at this stage, I would have pretty much had to start over again.  So, I wanted to keep as tight control as I could.

* * *

STEP SIX:   FINISHED!  The little Superman up in the corner looks a little wonky, and I wish I could move up the "Superman" Logo up about a 1/2"...  But, overall, I think this generally turned out OK.  :-)

20" x 30" on sized and gessoed Stonehenge paper glued to hardboard (Medium Density Fiberboard) and done with Acrylic Paint and Sharpie Marker.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Showcase #4 - Cover Replica

Showcase #4 - Original by Carmine Infantino and Joe Kubert

This was a cover recreation that Jim wanted personally for his home and was yet another proof of concept.  The size was larger (20" x 30") than the Spidey one (18" x 24") previously posted.  In this case, I used a thinner hardboard (1/8" as opposed to 1/4"), however, I was worried that the tempering of the board would be too slick and not hold the paint very well.  So, I stole--er, "borrowed"--a good idea from fantasy artist Todd Lockwood (who "borrowed" it from Donato Giancola) and decided to glue a large sheet of paper to the hardboard.  That way, rather than having to worry about paint not sticking to the tempered hardboard, if the board is too slippery all that happens is that the paper detaches and the painting is still intact.

In this case, I mixed size (glue) and gesso and used it to glue a sheet of Stonehenge paper (100% cotton paper normally used for printing) to the hardboard, and then used the same mixture to prime the board for penciling and painting.

Here is the process.  Once again, due to the size of the paintings, my camera did some funky stuff with the coloring and light/dark.  As always, click on the pictures to embiggen:

STEP ONE:  Prepped with size and gesso, I gridded out the drawing and did the lettering (did I mention I **HATE** lettering in paintings? :-) and got everything planned out.  I now save all lettering for last, btw, which saves me quite a bit of time--particularly on paintings which have graduated colors.

STEP TWO:  Painting, painting, painting.  The most difficult part was trying to get the graduated tones around the Flash.  Particularly around the lettering.  Bleh.

STEP THREE:  Here it is, completed.  I finished all the painting and lettering.  For the lettering, I used a Sharpie Marker.

20" x 30" Acrylic painting (with an assist from Sharpie) on Stonehenge paper glued to 1/4" hardboard. 


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Batman: Year One #1 - Page Recreation

Here's the original page from Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli's "Batman: Year One":

This was done as a Christmas present to a good friend of mine, Dave M, who is a big Batman fan.  I have another recreation of a Batman cover I am doing for his birthday... Which was two months ago.  Sigh...  I have to get that one done SOON, or it will be his Christmas present for next year.  And, of course, when I get it done, y'all will see it here.

Here is the process (click on each picture to embiggen):

STEP ONE:  Pencils and some beginning washes being laid down...

STEP TWO:  More watercolor washes and underpainting...

STEP THREE:  Almost done...  More color and I added some Titanium White watercolor to go back over for a smoke effect.  Luckily, the white watercolor I have is relatively opaque, so it covered pretty well.

STEP FOUR:  Hooray!  The painting part of the page is done.  I used more Titanium White watercolor to add the rest of the smoke/debris in panel #1.  And, being not-so-subtle, I deviated from the original and added a vaguely Batman-shaped reflection to the brazier lid in panel #2.  I corrected some coloring on panel #4, with the brazier being covered and pushed some of the darks.

STEP FIVE:  I added the lettering.  I printed it out on my laser printer and then glued it down to the paper using rubber cement.  I know I said it felt like "cheating" in a previous post... oh, well.  :-)  To quote Walt Whitman from "Song of Myself":

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)


The page was done with watercolor on 12" x 16" 140# cold-press Waterford watercolor paper.

* * *

Also, I took Panel One and submitted it to the fantastically fun Repaneled Blog:  Be sure to visit Anthony's site!

UPDATE: It is scheduled to be posted tomorrow, on Thursday, June 9th, 2011.  Hooray!  :-)


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Amazing Fantasy #15 - Cover Replica

Well, time to get this show on the road!  :-)

Here's the original "Amazing Fantasy #15"

My pal, Jim McCauley, from my local comic book shop, Jimmy Jams Comics, wanted large, poster-sized paintings of various famous comic book covers on the walls of his comic shop.  That seemed like a pretty good idea.  Being somewhat naive about the amount of work involved and a glutton for punishment, I volunteered to paint 'em up in return for comics and merchandise.  (Did I mention I am a glutton for punishment?)  Here is one of my first attempts.  The lighting reflected a little bit on the picture, so my camera doesn't quite do justice to some of the colors, etc.--the look sort of washed out in the image below.  Oh, well.

It's passable, but there are a few things here and there which irritate me and could be better.  For example, for some reason, I messed up on the proportions and it was formatted a little wider.  I goofed up a little and wish I had moved it over to the right another half-inch.  Sure, I could have cropped the picture and no one would have known aside from those who actually visited Jimmy Jams, but warts and all, I guess.

And the lettering... I **HATE** lettering.  It is painfully slow for me to letter and I'm not all that great at it.  I think the logo turned out pretty OK, and the hand lettering is marginally alright (well, in some spots--the blurb on the bottom makes me wince when I look at it), but the scrawling "Comic Code Authority" pains me a bit.  I guess I'll just pretend I intended it to look primitive on purpose, but I didn't want to just run out stuff on the laser printer and glue it to the board; it just seemed a little like cheating, I guess.

Speaking of cheating, I also left off the action lines from Spidey swinging in; they seemed sort of distracting.  Well, that and it would have probably cost me several more hours of work.  But, it was my first one and intended as a sort of "proof of concept".

18" x 24" Acrylic Paint on 1/4" Hardboard.  
(Click on the image to embiggen to a ridiculously large size)


Wednesday, June 1, 2011



Welcome to my new blog!  I plan on posting (mostly) comic book based/inspired drawings and paintings every week or two, give-or-take.  At the moment, this is just a place holder until I have a little more time to put some finishing touches on the site, get more things gathered up to post, and so forth.

I will still be posting to my other art blog, "Mostly Arty, Somewhat Farty", which is mostly dedicated to figure drawings:

Here is a teaser of what to expect...